„Don't ask, don't
tell, don't translate.“ US-Streitkräfte entlassen 74 Berufsdolmetscher
– weil sie schwul sind
Seit 1994 haben die US-Streitkräfte
9.488 Soldaten entlassen – wegen ihrer gleichgeschlechtlichen Veranlagung.
322 der Betroffenen besaßen profunde Kenntnisse in Fremdsprachen.
Das geht aus einem Bericht hervor, den der amerikanische Kongress in der
vergangenen Woche vorgelegt hat.
den 322 Fremdsprachenkundigen befanden sich 74 ausgebildete Berufsdolmetscher,
wie Prof. Nathaniel Frank vom „Center for the Study of Sexual Minorities
in the Military“ an der University of California in Santa Barbara berichtet.
Die Arbeitssprachen der Betroffenen: Arabisch (20), Koreanisch (18), Russisch
(11) Spanisch (9), Chinesisch (3), Serbokroatisch (3), Deutsch (1), Hebräisch
(1), Italienisch (1), Vietnamesisch (1).
der Ausgestoßenen waren Studenten am Defense Language Institute
(DLI) der Streitkräfte im kalifornischen Monterey. Dieses liegt
unweit der Welthauptstadt der Homosexuellen, San Francisco, und weist nach
Angaben eines ehemaligen Studenten einen besonders hohen Anteil an Schwulen
und Lesben auf, der sich in manchen Bereichen auf 50 Prozent belaufen soll.
ist für diesen Personenkreis in den USA seit 1993 nicht mehr verboten.
Präsident Bill Clinton erließ damals eine Direktive,
die unter dem Schlagwort „Don't ask, don't tell“ bekannt wurde. Sie besagt,
dass Vorgesetzte von ihren Untergebenen keine Auskunft über deren
sexuelle Orientierung verlangen dürfen. Umgekehrt wird von Schwulen
und Lesben erwartet, ihre Neigung geheim zu halten. Wird sie dennoch bekannt,
ist die Entlassung aus dem aktiven Dienst unausweichlich. Die Betroffenen
werden allerdings „ehrenhaft“ statt wie zuvor „unehrenhaft“ entlassen.
amerikanischen Medien stößt die Entlassungspraxis der Streitkräfte
angesichts des eklatanten Dolmetschermangels auf Unverständnis. Auch
der Kongress hält die „Frag nicht, sag nichts“-Politik für überholt.
Sie schade den Interessen der USA und gefährde die Sicherheit der
kämpfenden Truppe in Kriegszeiten.
Abgeordnete Barney Frank aus Massachusetts meint: „We've had a policy
for driving gay people out of the military. Let gay men and lesbians defend
this country. It's been called the policy of 'don't ask, don't tell,' well
we have a new name for it: 'don't ask, don't tell, don't translate.'"
streben eine Gleichbehandlung aller Soldaten an. Eine Entlassung soll nur
dann gerechtfertigt sein, wenn ein Fehlverhalten nachgewiesen werden kann.
In einem Pressekommentar heißt es: „Soldiers on duty, gay and straight,
must keep their hands to themselves, or face expulsion.“
der USA und Portugals haben die NATO-Staaten und Israel keine Probleme
mit Soldaten, die sich zu ihrer Veranlagung bekennen. Die Militärs
haben die Erfahrung gemacht, dass diese keineswegs die Moral der Truppe
untergraben oder sich an Kameraden vergreifen. Ein ständiges Problem
sind hingegen Übergriffe heterosexueller Soldaten auf weibliche Mitglieder
Gamble speaks Arabic. He learned it at the US Army's training center
the Defense Language Institute in Monterey. But, after 8
months of grueling training, Gamble was discharged from service.
"I speak Arabic but I am gay and the military threw me out because the
military must throw out all homosexuals."
was training to be an interrogator and translator, answering the call by
the US government after September 11 for people who speak the language.
Robert Mueller, FBI Director on Sept. 17, 2001: "We are actively seeking
and recruiting English-speaking individuals with professional level proficiency
in Arabic and Farsi."
of the military's 'don't ask, don't tell' policy, Gamble doesn't qualify.
He was dismissed when he was discovered on base with his boyfriend a Korean
translator who was also discharged.
Gamble, discharged soldier: "I figured if I was discreet about it I figured
that the military wouldn't pursue, wouldn't come after us." But they did.
In fact nine people were dismissed last year from the language institute
for being gay or lesbian.
ABC News (San Francisco),
Feb. 2, 2003
Pickart of Dayton never made it to Iraq. The 21-year-old Chinese translator,
who served as a team leader for neurosurgery at Wright Patterson Air Force
Base, was discharged February 28 for homosexual conduct.
had confided to a friend that he was going home Thanksgiving to come out
to his father. This started an investigation that led to his discharge.
He had been in the Air Force since one week after high school.
he still can’t get the military out of his life, though. His father, upon
learning that his son was discharged for being gay, told Pickart it was
the worst thing that ever happened to him (the father).
from a military family, and went to a military boarding school,” said Pickart.
“Now, I need to learn how the civilian world works.”
ask former Army Sgt. Ian Finkenbinder. The 22-year-old Eugene, Ore.,
native spent eight months as an Arabic linguist with the Third Infantry
Division in Iraq. As a military intelligence officer, he helped other linguists
collect information from captured Iraqis.
efforts saved lives and improved the quality of life for soldiers around
us," he says by phone. He served in units that took enemy fire and merited
an Army Commendation Medal and Good Conduct Medal. He earned about $36,000
the 3rd I.D. returned to Fort Stewart, Ga., Finkenbinder sensed that some
in his reorganized unit were discussing his personal life behind his back.
In November, after a year of increasing discomfort, he handed his commander,
Capt. James Finnochiaro, a written statement of his homosexuality. Finkenbinder
was honorably discharged last month.
to Iraq once," Finkenbinder says. "I met that challenge. I knew perfectly
well I would be able to meet that challenge again." Still, he wondered,
"whether I would be able to serve an institution that had discriminated
against me for four years by asking me to maintain my silence, as well
as these isolated incidents of people saying things that they shouldn't."
being booted from the Army, Finkenbinder seeks other work for his Arabic-language
homosexual translator menace
[...] you can be a gay assistant
secretary of Defense (like former Pentagon spokesman–turned–NBC correspondent
Pete Williams) or a gay CIA agent serving in the same foxhole as a Special
Forces officer in Afghanistan. [...]
one thing you can absolutely never be is a gay member of the group most
needed to forestall the next terrorist attack: the Army-trained Arabic
linguists who might actually understand one of the hundreds of thousands
of conversations and E-mails that the government is now authorized to scrutinize
under the USA Patriot Act [...].
of Arabic speakers in the FBI and the CIA was one of the most conspicuous
failures leading to the government’s inability to connect the dots before
the catastrophes at the World Trade Center and the Pentagon. [...]
far as the Army is concerned, it’s better to have no Arabic translators
than to have gay ones. [...]
Frank [a senior fellow at the Center for the Study of Sexual Minorities
in the Military] reported that within one two-month period last fall, “seven
fully competent” Arabic linguists had been discharged from the Army’s elite
Defense Language Institute in Monterey, Calif., because they were gay.
In fact, the number of gay students there may have contributed to a false
sense of security among those students. Frank wrote that the institute’s
Northern California location attracted “a large number” of gay linguists.
“There were way too many gay people at DLI for anybody to fear the ‘don’t
ask, don’t tell’ policy,” Frank quoted a gay former student as saying.
“Sometimes we lived on halls that were more than 50% homosexual.”
which may explain why Alastair Gamble, who was a star student at DLI, felt
comfortable enough to invite his boyfriend and fellow student to spend
the night with him after he had completed more than 30 weeks of intensive
Arabic training. Unfortunately, that was also the night of a surprise “health
and welfare” inspection at 3:30 a.m., and the two men were caught in bed
together. Both of them were discharged.
Charles Kaiser in The
Advocate, January 21, 2003
[Text: Richard Schneider.] www.uebersetzerportal.de
country gave me medals for killing two men, and a dishonorable discharge
for loving one." -- Leonard Matlovich